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DREAM THEATER's John Petrucci Explains Reunion With Mike Portnoy for Solo Album

"We’ve been talking a bunch and he had sort of planted the seed in my ear."

mike portnoy john petrucci

Founding drummer Mike Portnoy left Dream Theater in 2010. Portnoy and his ex-bandmates didn't make any music together since their split, but that all changes with Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci's new solo album Terminal Velocity. Petrucci told the Dream Theater Fan Club that he and Portnoy had been talking, which led to Portnoy offering to drum on Terminal Velocity. It was an offer Petrucci said he basically couldn't refuse.

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"We’ve been talking a bunch and he had sort of planted the seed in my ear," said Petrucci. "I was telling him about it [the solo album], and he was like, 'Well if you need somebody, I’m available.' And it was in my head; I’m, like, 'I’m gonna take you up on that.'

"I had written all the songs and we programmed the drums, and I played bass, and our engineer played bass, so we had these completed songs. And Mike came in, learned everything, of course, added his touches and taste – did a tremendous, spectacular job. It was a lot of fun to kind of reunite musically and do that together; it took about six days to do. Again, he did a great job – the drums sound awesome.

"Dave [LaRue] recorded his stuff remotely, redid all the bass, and it’s mixed by Andy Sneap – it’s my first time working with Andy, and he did a tremendous job mixing it. He’s actually currently in Judas Priest playing guitar after Glenn [Tipton] couldn’t do it anymore. And he is an unbelievable mixer with an incredible resume. He did mix Firepower, the latest Judas Priest, and a whole bunch of other stuff – Killswitch and Arch Enemy and Machine Head, and it goes on. He’s amazing. So, the album sounds great."

Terminal Velocity is expected later this year.

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